Friday, August 31, 2007

The SUFFERING JESUS

The Suffering JESUS... is not a popular topic among most evangelicals, nor charismatics, nor most of the main-line groups.

I ran into this... um, thought... at a prayer meeting about 30 years ago where the main speaker was a Roman Catholic priest, a dear brother who was alive in The LORD. He spoke about repentance being the key to becoming close to The LORD JESUS. He shared about his experience hearing confessionals... something we of a non-Roman background were rather squeamish about.

It seems there were some nuns whose main focus was on the suffering JESUS. Their purpose in life was to associate themselves... to identify themselves... with His+ agony and sufferings.
Well, needless to say, we were NOT INTERESTED. We wanted the victorious JESUS Who+ overwhelmed His+ enemies... and ours! We were not interested in going the 2nd mile nor turning the other cheek, having once been slugged. So, it was a restless bunch of baby Christians listening to this good brother that night.

But, being a Franciscan, this brother knew the fruitfulness of chastity, obedience, and poverty. He said hearing the confessions of these sisters was like being pelted with cotton puffs. The sisters were sorry, contrite, and ashamed of their sins before GOD. The priests who heard the confessions were even MORE sorry, contrite and ashamed... and often, the priests were the ones in tears, hidden in the privacy of the confessional booths. The innocence and purity of the sisters brought conviction to the hearts of the priests who were sent to hear their confessions.

He related about the time he was called to hear the confessions of one of those nuns in this Order of the SUFFERING JESUS. She was dying of cancer. It had eaten away half of her face. Knowing she was dying, all she could do was to give thanks to The LORD for going before her in His+ agony of suffering. She thanked Him+ for bearing such pain, willingly, for her sins. She knew, just knew, that His+ pain was worse that anything she was called upon to bear. The priest said he left in tears.

The sister was in joy. She had trained herself to identify with CHRIST JESUS, the Suffering Savior, so much so that any pain she had to bear called her into a time of thanksgiving. She thanked HIM+ for reminding her that HE+ bore with patience His+ agony and pain... for us sinners... simply because HE+ loved us. HE+ bore His+ pain because that was the only way to free us from sin... from the grip of the devil... from the depths of Gehenna after death. Furthermore, HE+ did it without complaining, willingly, knowing it was the will of HIS+ FATHER.

Like church bells ringing, pain became the reminder for these sisters of our Savior's agony for us. So, pain and suffering became a time to turn to The LORD in thanksgiving, first of all. Yes, it was a time to ask HIM+ for healing and mercy... but also a time to learn obedience... like HIM+... in the things that are suffered. They learned to identify themselves, in humility, with the Suffering One.

Because of their embracing the Suffering JESUS, they had peace in Him+. These sisters learned not to fight "for their own rights." They learned to yield at all times, in HIM+. They had peace in His+ will. Thus, they could minister peace to anyone who was suffering. The result was that they had an anointing upon them to turn others to The LORD during their suffering... and in their own.

Yes, we know the LORD can and does heal and work out situations that are impossible, humanly speaking. But, the Suffering JESUS is to be embraced as well as the victorious JESUS.

Let us be content to let The LORD JESUS reign.

Let GOD be GOD !

Friday, August 10, 2007

INVINCIBLE CITIZENSHIP... that's what's promised


Dear Beloved Brethren… Greetings of love to you in the invincible name of the Risen Savior. Listen to this good Word:

For our citizenship exists in (the) Heavens

from out (of) where also a Savior we eagerly await,

(the) LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Who+ will transform the body of our humiliation

for it to become (the) same form (as) HIS+ body of glory,

according to the working energy of HIS power,

even to subject all things unto HIMSELF.

(Greek version of Philippians 3:20-21)

This is a more literal translation from the GREEK of these 2 glorious verses. In the first verse, “conversation” is really POLITEUMA (as in politics). .. which means citizenship. More accurately, it means commonwealth, state, place of citizenship, homeland.

The word exists (not really is , as in KJV) means exists, be present , be at hand. And, furthermore, the clause ought to read:

For our homeland / citizenship in the Heavens EXISTS—is present—is at hand!

[ That’s where it IS... in the Heavens. At this present time, we are traveling through a foreign land, planet earth, merely as foreigners, passing through hostile, enemy territory. Thus, we do not accrue things, as mere visitors, nor do we participate in the governing activities of our “host” country because we are not permanent citizens here on earth. We are card-carrying citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom instead. Furthermore, our citizenship is real and actually operational NOW; it will be MORE fully operational when we get to our homeland. ]

In the Greek, the word order is quite fluent, not following placement rules like English so precisely does. But, the above clause is in the exact order of the Greek words.

Another quite interesting word change from KJV is that “Heaven” is in the plural here, in the Greek. Not every usage of heaven in the New Covenant is plural—only some are. But oddly enough, the Hebrew Old Covenant always uses heavenS... not heaven. This is because the ancient writings said there were several levels of heaven, i.e., not just one big heaven above the earth.


The layers, levels, areas, or territories of seven heavens—above which is the HEAVEN above all heavens, The Throne of GOD MOST HIGH—are discussed in books that the early church had, such as the books of Enoch and the Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah the Prophet. These books are referred to in the New Covenant. Also, in 2 Cor. 12:2, the Apostle Paul talks as one being caught up as far as the 3rd Heaven.

The word wait / await includes the idea in the Greek of an eager, anticipatory watching for… which moves the “wait” from a dull, tiresome chore to an energetic looking for of our dear Savior Who+ is coming once again, from out of the Heavenlies this time

… and every eye shall certainly see HIM+, this time.



When that happens, HE+ will be sure to change the form of our bodies, which nowadays, are means for so much humiliation at best, and sin, at worst. They will be transformed into the very same form as JESUS’ glorified, resurrected body. His+ power-filled resurrected body could still eat honey and broiled fish, could be touched and handled, resembled HIMSELF as HE+ walked on earth. Yet, HE+ could enter a room without opening a locked door, could ascend into the Heavenlies, and could seemingly vanish quickly. We will be like HIM+.

This will be accomplished due to the fact that HE+ has—and will use—active, working, energetic POWER at HIS+ disposal. He will use it as HE+ has promised…for HIS+ pleasure, having re-assumed HIS+ Divine position after the Resurrection.

Reversing the action of “emptying Himself+” (in Philippians 2:7), HE+ has “re-filled” HIMSELF+ with the fullness of HIS+ Divine power, “re-robing” HIMSELF+ with what HE+ had laid down when HE+ limited HIMSELF+ in becoming human.

Thus, HE+ re-assumed all HE+ had emptied HIMSELF+ of, after His+ glorious and mighty Resurrection; hell (sheol) was unable to hold HIM+ down in its caverns.

Furthermore, even before His+ power-filled Resurrection, the gates of hell were unable to withstand His+ divine storming of that place… from which no-one had been able to escape, before JESUS. The gates of hell were unable to keep HIM+ from entering and preaching to the ones who hadn’t heard the GOOD NEWS yet.

[The I Peter 3: 18-19 verses point out that although His+ flesh was put to death, His+ Spirit went and preached unto the spirits ( of other dead ones) “in prison.” This powerful event happened even before His+ Spirit re-entered His+ crucified body lying in the tomb. Then, 3 days later, HE+ re-entered His+ Body and with great Resurrection power burst forth from the tomb in His+ glorified state. HalleluJAH !


The FIRST-BORN from the dead will never die again! HalleluJAH!


That kind of body is exactly what HE+ promises for Christians who endure unto the end. HalleluJAH! ]

What’s more… the gates of hell not only were unable to prevent HIM+ from leaving their confines, but the gates of hell were unable to stop HIM+ from taking His+ freed ones—the “captivity” spoken of in Ps. 68 and Ephesians 4—from leaving sheol also. Having just preached the GOOD NEWS to them, He+ deftly moved paradise from Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22) in the upper regions of sheol into the 3rd Heaven, far above the earth. This is the same 3rd Heaven referred to by the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12.

Bless GOD! HE+ showed them Who+ was in control! The “princes” (Grk: rulers, archons) of this world didn’t know and hadn’t bargained for the Resurrection. They wouldn’t have crucified HIM+, had they known it would be the means of their defeat! I Cor. 2:8.

When HE+ returns, HE+ will be subjecting unto Himself+ all things… in the heavens, in the earth, and under the earth (Phil. 2). In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, the Righteous will arise with glorified bodies like His+ … those who have died in CHRIST first, and those living in CHRIST, secondly. Here is the promise for Christians only:

For a trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we (who remain) shall be changed. (I Cor.15:52).

Thus we Christians say Maranatha! Come, LORD JESUS!


He’s truly on His+ way, enroute back to planet earth, to establish His+ rule here. Most likely, we Christians are going to be pressed beyond measure before HE+ returns, but let us hold fast and endure unto the end… the end will surely be most glorious.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which GOD hat prepared for THEM THAT LOVE HIM+. (I Cor. 2:9 and Isaiah 64:4). Amen and HalleluJAH!

May the LORD bless you today with HIS+ joy in His+ Resurrection…

and in the promise of yours!

Laboring in His+ Vineyard, for the fruit…

Sister Judith Hannah
















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Sister Judith Hannah and new friend!

Here is my new friend! She was dedicated unto The LORD about two months after she was born, at a Dedication Service at the Order's Hermitage. We at the Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD+ like to follow the LORD'S example in all things... including the fact that HE+ ---as a baby--- was dedicated unto GOD at the Temple in Jerusalem.

We fully recognize that NO ONE can confess, repent, and be converted unto CHRIST JESUS for another human being; we have free will to choose CHRIST or not and no-one, not even parents, can make that choice for us.

The Early Christians of the first 200 years recognized this truth also, and it was universally believed and practiced. Later, many, many Christians lost their lives because they believed Scripture taught a believer's baptism... with confession, repentance, and conversion of life unto CHRIST... which infants were (and are still) incapable of doing.

Later, the teaching changed from the original pattern and entered into the church proper, weakening it considerably.

HOWEVER...
some of us came in by breach birth, as did Cornelius, being baptized in the HOLY SPIRIT before being baptized in water... which leaves us with the conclusion that WHATSOEVER THE LORD PLEASED, THAT DID HE+ IN THE HEAVENS, AND IN THE EARTH, IN THE SEAS, AND ALL THE WATERY DEEP. (Ps. 135: 6)





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